MM #71: How to Get Noticed by the Media
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2. FEATURE: How to Get Noticed by the Media
One of the best ways to ensure you’re in demand as a coach is to become known as an authority in the field. And the quickest way to get that sort of visibility is to get media coverage.
An interview on television, radio or in the newspaper is sure to command attention while giving you instant credibility in the eyes of potential clients.
“Great,” you’re saying. “So, how do I get the media to notice me?” We’ll get to that….
First, we want to make the prospect of interviewing you as easy and attractive as possible. If you are accessible, interesting, and already have key background information handy, journalists are going to be much more likely to follow through with an article.
So let’s start by gathering some basic information about you. This is what you can use to create your media kit – or even better – your online Media Room.
Give journalists something to work with, and a reason to put your story on paper or over the airwaves.
(At the end, I’ll show you my Media Room so you have an example to go from.)
Step 1: Gather your information
First, write your biography. (No, not an entire book.) Start with the basics: a few paragraphs about who you are and what you do.
Then think of several interesting tidbits that might make you stand out. They don’t necessarily have to be related to your coaching. The fact that you are an expert weaver, have tried bungee-jumping, teach ballroom dance or build robots in your spare time could be the very thing that sets you apart.
Articles and Media Appearances
If you’ve already been featured in any articles or made any broadcast appearances, gather up those resources as well. You can reproduce articles (with permission) on your website or printed packet.
List your appearances, or – better yet – convert your audio or video to a web-friendly format.
Come up with some basic questions and answers about coaching – FAQ, so to speak. Journalists who are unfamiliar with coaching will find it helpful to know that, no, it’s not therapy … and yes, everyone can use a coach.
Include a few well-chosen testimonials. (You should already be in the practice of asking your clients to provide a few kind words for you to use in your promotional materials.)
Finally, if you don’t have current head shot photos, now’s the time to get it done. The key word here is “current” – you might love the photo you had taken in 1996, but does it reflect who you are right now, in 2006? If you’ve got beautiful silvery hair (or none at all 😉 ), don’t let it come as a surprise to the people who will be lighting you during your television debut.
The beauty of the web, in particular, is that you don’t have to choose just one photo – you can post a variety of your best shots for the media’s use. Include a few candid-style photos as well. Imagine how much easier it is for a journalist to publish your story when they have the option of using an existing photo.
If you’re creating an online media room, be sure to link to high-resolution photos (300 dpi) from your gallery page. Web resolution graphics look terrible when printed.
Step 2: Edit and organize
Enlist someone – a friend, a colleague, your mentor coach – to take a look at what you’ve gathered. Is anything missing? Do you need to streamline anything?
Work with your web (or print) designer to present your information in a user-friendly format.
Remember, bullet points are your friends; they keep things easy to scan for busy journalists.
At the very least, you want to provide your bio, testimonials, FAQ and your gallery of photos.
Then, your clip file (previous articles and appearances) – and don’t despair if you don’t have one; you will soon!
If you want to go the extra mile, add a page of possible story angles and ideas. Are you the bungee-jumper we talked about earlier? How about “Extreme Coaching for the Most Extreme Sport: Life!”
If you’re more of a homebody, you could offer to talk about the Zen of domestic tasks. Get the idea?
Finally, make sure that your contact information is accurate and easy to find. If you provide an email address only, be sure that it’s one you actually use.
Step 3: Get the word out
Your Media Room or package is ready for prime time. Now you need to get people to notice. (I told you we’d get there!)
Put together a short letter of introduction and email your local media outlets. Include a link to your media room.
Offer to do a demo coaching session. (Remember that journalists may not be able to accept a ‘free’ session that has been given a dollar value, but would be allowed to participate in a demonstration.)
Keep in contact with your media contacts by sending press releases, lead ideas, and always get back to them right away.
Need ideas? Take a look at my own Media Room at:
- Pick one area to focus on this week. Write your biography, schedule your photo shoot, gather your testimonials, etc.
- Post at the blog what you plan to do by when for accountability.
- We’d love to see your finished media room when it’s ready, so you can post that at the blog as well.
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